It’s Time To Start Thinking About Traveling With Your Pets This Summer

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

As I write this, the view from my office is pretty depressing. It is a cold, damp, dreary spring day and the little taste of nice weather we got last week is nothing but a fading memory. But somewhere in the United States, the sun is shining and it is actually warm. And that can only mean one thing. Summer is almost here, and it is time to start thinking about traveling with your pet. So here are a few things to keep in mind.

Getting there

Flying in the lap of luxury

Not too long ago, I came across this really cool story about the new service for pets and their owners offered by the private jet charter company, VistaJet. It’s called VistaPet, and it sounds awesome — if you can afford it.

Because a lot of its members fly with their pets, the company says it created the program to facilitate the experience. Benefits include an inflight care package called a pochette. Basically this is a travel bag containing pet care items, such as bio-organic good, treats, toys, shampoos and wipes  for use during and after the flight.

On certain flights, pets can feast on gourmet meals featuring “prime cuts of fresh meat and fish.” For instance, the company says a “typical meal” could include  “an entrée of roast tenderloin, baked salmon or roast chicken served with steamed, roasted or raw vegetables and whole grain brown rice.”

The company also says its Cabin Hostesses will offer  “natural flower essences” that can be  mixed with your pet’s drinking water to help them relax during the flight.

But that’s not all. Through its partnership with The Dog House, VistaJet  also offers help for dogs that are afraid of flying. The month-long course, which is only available for pets belonging to members,  helps canine participants cope with common experiences while traveling such as the smell of jet fuel, the noise generated by jet engines, cabin air pressure and turbulence.

Speaking of turbulence, VistaJet cites regulations stipulating that pets — who can otherwise hangout on handmade “sleep mats” must be on their leashes or in carriers “during take-off, landing and any turbulence.” However, the rule does not apply to Guide Dogs.

If you recently hit a mega-lottery and you want to learn more about VistaJet and the VistaPet program, you can learn more here.  If you’re already a VistaJet member but you’ve never flown with your pet before, the company recommends calling customer service. Here’s the information you should have on hand:

  • Type of pet
  • Breed
  • Weight
  • Microchip info
  • (Your) passport details
  • Information about your pet’s most recent rabies vaccine
  • Information about your pet’s treatment (if any) for tapeworm and other parasites
  • Flight history

Pet friendly accommodations (for the rest of us)

VistaJet says it can also arrange pet-friendly accommodations and excursions. But even if — like me — you’re still in the, “I wish I could afford to charter a private jet” stage, you can still take your pet on vacation. All it takes is a little planning and a willingness to go someplace fairly close (so you don’t have to subject your pet to a cross-country drive or a near-death experience on a commercial flight). Amtrak train photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

You can find plenty of information about pet-friendly hotels online. But here are a few things to keep in mind about this important aspect of your trip.

  1. Be sure to book a room on the first floor or near an exit if at all possible.
  2. Don’t leave your pet in the hotel room by itself unless absolutely necessary.
  3. If you do have to leave your pet in the room, take proper precautions
  4. If you are traveling with your dog, make sure it’s on a leash in common areas of the hotel
  5. Remember, courtesy goes a long way; make sure you cleanup any “accidents” in the room thoroughly and promptly.
  6. Be sure to take your pet to the vet and/or groomers before the trip to ensure they’re in good health and aren’t likely to shed all over the room.
  7. Follow applicable hotel rules about outdoor areas where your pets are allowed to relieve themselves.
  8. If you’re traveling with a cat, the bathroom (in your hotel room) is usually the best place to put the litter box.
  9. Don’t forget to let your pets get some exercise.
  10. Have fun!

And on that note, happy travels, everyone!

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Happy Labor Day!

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Happy Labor Day!

Here in the good old United States of America, today marks the unofficial end of summer. For most of us, there will be no more backyard barbecues. No more trips to the beach, lake or mountains. No more trips to Europe or other far-flung destinations. Not until next year, anyhow.

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

For the kids it’s time to go back to school. For the rest of us it is time to get back to work.

Yes, work. That’s what today is really all about. According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day is “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.”  Its history dates to the late 19th century when the groups initially formed to combat workplace exploitation wielded considerable influence.

As documented on history.com, New York City hosted the first Labor Day parade on September 5, 1882. On that day, “10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square.”  The tradition continues to this day. In fact, the 2016 parade is happening as I write this.

But as  I write, I am reflecting less on what is happening in New York City than on my own achievements. You see, I founded In Brief Legal Writing Services exactly one year ago this month. And while I don’t yet have the client base — or income — that I hoped to have by this point, I am happy with the way things are going.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really cool people. I’ve learned something new every day. Most importantly, I’ve enjoyed it. And as far as I’m concerned, the best is yet to come.

Whatever you do, do not leave your pets in the car this summer

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Yes, it’s hot outside. At least, that’s the case here in the northeast. So as we get ready for the Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer, I am begging you guys to do me a huge favor. Please, whatever you do, do not leave your pets — or your kids — in the car by themselves.

I don’t care if you’ll “only be gone for a couple of minutes.” I don’t care if you leave the windows open. It doesn’t even matter if you parked in the shade.

Leaving your pet in a parked car by itself is a recipe for disaster — and in some states it’s also against the law.

Yes, It’s Criminal

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

For people in my line of work, certain websites are invaluable. In fact, animallaw.info is the first place I check when I’ve got an especially challenging assignment. With just a few clicks of a mouse I can find just about anything I need — which often saves a lot of time. So naturally that’s the first place I checked when I wanted to find out more about state laws prohibiting people from leaving their animals in parked cars.

According to an article by Rebecca F. Wisch that I found there, leaving an animal in a parked car was illegal in 19 states as of 2015.

“Most of these laws provide that the animals must be confined or unattended in a parked or stationary vehicle,” Wisch says. “Further, the laws add that in order for a person to violate the law, the conditions have to endanger the animal’s life. Some of the statutes specifically state that extreme hot or cold temperatures, lack of adequate ventilation, or failing to provide food and drink meet this definition. Other laws are more vague and just require that the conditions are such that physical injury or death is likely to result.”

In other words, don’t push your luck if you live in one of the following states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

A Closer Look

In at least seven of the states with existing laws, leaving an animal in a parked car is a misdemeanor. This typically means punishment upon conviction includes fines, up to a year in jail, or both. In other states, it is a petty misdemeanor, violation or infraction carrying lesser penalties upon conviction. A noticeable exception is New Hampshire, where a “second or subsequent offense” is a Class B felony.

“Even without a local or state law, this action could still constitute cruelty under some circumstances,” Wisch says.

If all of that’s not enough to make you think twice, consider this. How would you like it if someone locked you in a boiling hot car against your will?